CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct 15, 1999
UI Camerata Singers will feature baritone Stephen Swanson
on Oct. 31 concert
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Camerata Singers, a choral group
made up of University of Iowa students and members of the local community,
will feature two faculty soloists -- baritone Stephen Swanson and tenor Timothy
Stalter -- in free concert at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31 in Clapp Recital Hall
on the UI campus.
Music faculty member Richard Bloesch will conduct
the performance. UI graduate students Melissa Moll and Hanna Lee will accompany
the choir on piano and organ.
A mixed choral ensemble of 60-70 voices, Camerata
is known for performances that bring to light unfamiliar choral works of significant
interest and value. Characteristically, the group's repertoire includes pieces
by little-known composers -- including in this case Joseph Rheinberger and
Joseph Guy Ropartz -- as well as little-known works by major composers, including
Felix Mendelssohn and Zoltan Kodaly.
The program will open with Mendelssohn's "Kyrie,"
a rare setting by the composer of a section of the Latin Mass. Written in
Paris in 1825, when the composer was only 16, it was for many years thought
to be lost. The score, which shows the influence of J.S. Bach on the young
Mendelssohn, was rediscovered and published in 1964.
The "Kyrie" will be followed by the Latin hymn "Pange
lingua" as set for organ and chorus by the Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly.
Jules Massenet, known principally as an opera composer,
is represented on the program by his "Chansons des Bois d'Amaranthe" (Songs
from the forest of Amaranthe). A cycle of pieces about springtime for chamber
choir and piano, the "Chansons" were composed in 1900. Massenet often performed
the songs, sometimes as conductor and at other times as pianist.
Swanson will be featured in two of the Five Hymns,
op. 40, by Rheinberger, who was a revered teacher at the Munich Conservatory
in Germany during the last decades of the 19th century.
Ropartz, a prominent French conductor and composer
during the first half of the 20th century, will be represented on the program
by three movements from his Requiem of 1938. Although he was a major figure
in French musical life, Ropartz is so little known in the United States that
Camerata will be giving the first performance of any of his music on the UI
The concert will close with Daniel Pinkham's Fanfares
for chorus, organ, brass and percussion. The four movements, titled "Prophecy,"
"Proclamation," "Alleluia" and "Psalm," are based on texts from the Old Testament.
Several of the movements include tenor solos, which will be sung by Stalter,
who is the new director of choral activities at the UI School of Music.
Bloesch received his doctorate in choral conducting
and choral literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.
He teaches the history of choral literature in the UI School of Music, conducts
the Camerata Singers and advises doctoral students. He is CD review editor
for the Choral Journal, and he held the national chair of the Repertoire and
Standards Committee for Colleges and Universities in the American Choral Directors
Association (ACDA). He is co-author of an annotated bibliography of 20th-century
choral music that was published by the ACDA.
Stalter joined the UI faculty as director of choral
activities in August. He directs Kantorei, the premier choral ensemble of
the School of Music, teaches graduate conducting courses, and administers
the graduate program in choral conducting. In addition to conducting and teaching
choral music, Stalter is active as a tenor soloist in the United States and
abroad. A specialist in the music of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical
periods, he is known for his performances as the Evangelist in the Passions
of J.S. Bach and Heinrich Schuetz. He has appeared as tenor soloist with the
Newfoundland Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the Robert Shaw Festival
Singers in France, the Robert Shaw Chamber Choir in Atlanta, and the Shenandoah
Valley Bach Festival. He has recorded as a soloist with conductor Robert Shaw
on two compact discs on the Telarc label.
Swanson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music
in 1994. For nearly 20 years before that date he had an active operatic career
in Europe. During that time his repertoire grew to more than 70 roles in opera,
operetta and musicals. He has also had an extensive career as a concert singer,
appearing as featured soloist with many U.S. orchestras, including the Chicago
Sir Georg Solti, Raphael Fruehbeck de Burgos and Margaret Hillis. He has recorded
Mendelssohn's "St. Paul" and Ullmann's "Der Kaiser von Atlantis." Since coming
to Iowa City, he has appeared in UI Opera Theater productions and performances
of the Chamber Singers of Iowa City.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
(NOTE TO EDITORS: Richard Bloesch, the conductor
of the concert described in this release, may be reached at (319) 335-1627,
or by e-mail at <email@example.com>.)